Most of us think of burglary as a nocturnal activity. That used to be true. But these days, most burglaries occur between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. In many cases, the crooks get in through unlocked doors or windows.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to keep burglars at bay. Here are some inexpensive (yet very effective!) DIY home security ideas.
Add a Window Pin Lock
The latches on most double hung windows are no match for a burglar with a pry bar. CRL S4011B Zinc Plated Sliding Window and Door ‘Nite-Lock’ Pin – Bulk (25) Pack are easy to install. To install one, all you have to do is drill a hole. If you want to lock the window in a partially opened position, drill a second hole. You can find pin locks at home centers and online. They work well on sliding patio doors too.
Motion detector lights are a proven crime deterrent, and standard hard-wired models cost as little as $15. If running a power supply would be difficult, buy ones that run on solar power. The downside is the cost. Ring Floodlight Camera Motion-Activated HD Security Cam Two-Way Talk and Siren Alarm, White
Secure Sheds with Screws
Your locked shed seems secure, but a cagey thief can bypass the lock by using a screwdriver to remove hinges and other hardware with exposed screw heads. Foil would-be thieves by using 8-32 x 1/4″ Socket Head Cap Screws, Allen Socket Drive, 304 Stainless Steel 18-8, Full Thread, Bright Finish, Fully Machine Thread, Quantity 50
Secure Door Hinges
Shed doors usually swing out, all a thief has to do is pop out the pins and remove the door. To stop this, buy a security hinge with tamper-proof pins and a locking tab at a home center. Or, you can retrofit an existing hinge by removing the center screws on both sides, inserting a finish screw through one side and allowing it to protrude about 1/4 in. Drill out the receiving hole slightly so that when the door is closed, the finish screw head engages the other hinge. That way, even if the hinge pin is removed, the door can’t be taken off.
Add Inexpensive Door and Window Alarms
Keeping doors and windows locked is your first line of defense. Make wireless alarms your second. Burglars hate noises, so even a small alarm usually sends them running. The alarms don’t provide the same security as pro-installed monitored systems since the wireless devices are activated by doors or windows opening (not glass breaking). Door Sensor Alarm, Door Sensor 120dB Wireless Window Alarm 4 Alarms Modes Burglar Anti-Theft for Kids Safety Home Shop Security
Use the alarms for doors and windows in ‘hidden’ areas of the house where you don’t normally gather and that are often dark. Attach the alarm to the door or window (with a screw or double-sided tape) alongside the magnetic contact strip (they don’t have to be touching, but within 1/2 in.). When the door or window opens, breaking magnetic contact, the alarm shrieks (these little units have a piercing alarm). The door alarm has a delay feature, giving you time to set the alarm and leave, then open the door and deactivate the unit when you come home, without setting it off. The window unit has an on/off switch. The alarms will work on any door or window, and the batteries last two to three years.
Pick Proof Your Deadbolt
Even amateur thieves can pick a lock. To hold the dead bolt firmly in place so the door can’t open, install the Flip Guard FG 1000 SN Satin Nickel. Slide the ‘lock’ over the deadbolt handle it to keep it from turning.
Lock Up the Overhead Door
Some people “lock” the overhead garage door when they go on vacation by unplugging the opener. That’s a good idea, but physically locking the door is even better. An unplugged opener won’t prevent “fishing,” and—if you have an attached garage—it won’t stop a burglar who has entered through the house from opening the garage door from inside, backing in a van and using the garage as a loading dock for his plunder. Make a burglar’s job more difficult and time-consuming by locking the door itself. If your door doesn’t have a lockable latch, drill a hole in the track just above one of the rollers and slip in a padlock.